Applications Open for the Toronto Enterprise Fund’s Spring Accelerator

February 26, 2019

ESE Idea Accelerator programInterested in exploring the development of an employment social enterprise idea? Biannually, TEF runs the ESE Idea Accelerator program, which supports individuals and organizations in developing early-stage employment social enterprise ideas. The accelerators provides four experiential workshops, which support participants to strengthen both business and social aspects of their ESE idea. The Accelerator program culminates in a pitch competition, during which participants will have the chance to pitch for $5,000 to $10,000 ‘Catalyzing Grant’ to conduct a feasibility study and develop a business plan for their ESE idea.

Spring Cohort 

This spring, TEF will run an ESE Idea Accelerator, focused on catalyzing the development of new employment social enterprises that create inclusive employment opportunities for people facing barriers to the labour market. The program will offer participants the chance to strengthen their ESE ideas through four interactive workshops, peer support, and the opportunity to pitch for a ‘Catalyzing Grant’. Keen to participate? 

Apply today ESE Idea Accelerator program

Workshop Schedule: 

  • Workshop 1 – Employment Model: During this workshop you’ll explore the employment needs of your ‘target population’ and refine the various aspects of your employment model and employment intervention.
  • Workshop 2 – Business Idea: During this workshop you’ll refine your product or service idea, and develop a stronger understanding of your target markets.
  • Workshop 3 – Operational Plan: During this workshop, you’ll develop a high-level operational plan, and learn about key aspects of building a great team, advisory board, and operational plan.
  • Workshop 4 – Financial Projections: During this workshop, you’ll gain an introduction to financial planning, including developing an initial budget for your employment social enterprise idea.


Individuals and organizations in Peel, Toronto and York Region with an interest in exploring the development of an employment social enterprise that will create employment opportunities for people facing barriers to the labour market are eligible to participate in the Accelerator program. Additionally, to be eligible to participate:

  • A member of your team must be able to attend all four workshops of the Accelerator, in-person. Each workshop will be hosted at United Way Greater Toronto, 26 Wellington St. E in Toronto.
  • You must be able to attend the ESE Idea Accelerator Pitch Night (Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.)
  • You must be applying to participate in the Accelerator to work on a new ESE idea

Key Dates:

  • Application deadline: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Workshop 1: Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Workshop 2: Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Workshop 3: Thursday, April 25, 2019 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Workshop 4: Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Accelerator Pitch Competition: Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Information Session

Keen to learn more about employment social enterprises and our winter ESE Idea Accelerator? We encourage you to watch our pre-recorded Information Session webinar. To do so please click here, and enter this password: 34kCZpna. The webinar will launch in a new window. It may take a few seconds to load, please be patient. If you have any technical difficulties, please contact Courtney at 

Spring Cohort Application:

Apply today! Applications are due Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

To prepare yourself to apply for the program, we encourage you to attend the webinar Information Session (see above) and participate in an Employment Social Enterprise 201 workshop. For ESE 201 dates, see here

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Bronwyn Oatley.